Boost Your Brain Health by Developing a Higher Purpose in Life, and Other Simple Brain-Boosting Strategies

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Personality traits like optimism and having a sense of purpose can benefit your health in a number of different ways, and ultimately help you live longer

One recent study found that having a sense of purpose reduced odds of Continue reading

Seven Compelling Healthy Habits

In the general scheme of life, there really isn’t a magic bullet to great health, although there are certain habits that resilient individuals tend to adopt. Some may be familiar, others a bit more unexpected.

Quality rest

Robust people normally do not burn the midnight oil. Good sleep each night is the foundation for keeping the immune system Continue reading

Training Character Strengths Makes you Happy

Anyone who trains character strengths increases their sense of well being, a large-scale study conducted by a team of psychologists from the University of Zurich has concluded. It proved for the first time that this kind of training works. The largest impact was evident in training the strengths “curiosity”, “gratitude”, “optimism”, “humor” and “enthusiasm”. Continue reading

Acts of Kindness May Combat Depression

There are many depression medications on the market, but they tend to produce unwanted side effects. A new study has found that doing positive activities may potentially ease depression symptoms for patients who are not responding to pharmaceutical treatments or who would rather avoid medications altogether.

The research discovered that spending time thinking about the good things in life and performing acts of kindness can help a depressed person feel better. This is based on years of scientific investigations into the difference between happy people and depressed ones.
“Over the last several decades, social psychology studies of flourishing individuals who are happy, optimistic and grateful have produced a lot of new information about the benefits  Continue reading

Being Too Optimistic Could Harm Weight Loss Efforts

(TOKYO) – Being too optimistic or self-oriented might stop you from losing weight, finds a new study.

The researchers from Doshisha University, Japan have found that personality traits have a significant impact on weight loss efforts.
Lead researcher Hitomi Saito and his colleagues psychologically profiled 101 obese patients undergoing combined counseling, nutrition and exercise therapy at the Kansai Medical University Hospital Obesity Clinic over a period of 6 months.

Patients’ psychosocial characteristics before and after attending the clinic were assessed using psychological questionnaires designed to identify patients’ personality types.
The study showed that patients who were able to improve their self-awareness through counseling were more likely to lose weight than those who were not.

Optimism and self-orientation characteristics improved for most patients after the 6-month program, although this was not related to weight loss.
In fact, patients who started the program with high levels of self-orientation and optimistic characteristics were less likely to lose weight.

It supports previous findings that some negative emotion has a positive effect on behavior modification because patients care more about their disease.
However, the overall improvement in optimistic ego state is not necessarily detrimental, as this increased optimism should result in patients maintaining the healthy lifestyle achieved at the clinic.

“It is important to enhance patients’ self-effectiveness and self-control in order to reduce psychological stress and to maintain the weight loss”, said the authors.
The research is published in BioMed Central’s open access journal, BioPsychoSocial Medicine.